Rights of a Parent in a Wrongful Death Case
As you would expect Texas allows parents to sue for the wrongful death of a child. The Wrongful Death Act clearly states that categories of parent that have the legal standing to file suit, and explains the kinds of rights and damages that are available to them.
How the Wrongful Death Act Defines "Parent"
Families come in all shapes, sizes, and configurations. Arguably now, more so than in any generation past, families have a capacity for diversity and complexity that is unmatched. The Texas Wrongful Death Act sought to carefully examine and protect the rights of parents seeking to file on behalf of their deceased child. Below are the kinds of relationships that Texas recognizes in this provision.
- Biological Parents - Biological parents can sue for the wrongful death of a child.
- Divorced Parents - A divorced parent can still bring suit for the wrongful death of a child.
- Adoptive Parents - A parent who has legally adopted a child can bring a suit for the wrongful death of the adopted child.
- Stepparents - Texas does not allow stepparents to bring suit for the wrongful death of a stepchild. under their care.
- Foster Parents - A foster parents cannot bring suit for the wrongful death of a child under their care.
- Grandparents - Grandparents cannot bring suit for the wrongful death of a grandchild.
What are the Rights Available to Parents?
Financial compensation doesn't take the place of your lost loved one, and that is not its intention. But it is the only option available to the court to acknowledge your loss and aid you in recovering damages. Let's look at a few kinds of remedies that are available in the pursuit of a wrongful death claim.
- Actual damages - In a wrongful death action, the plaintiff can recover the actual damages they suffered. There are four basic types of damages recoverable in a wrongful death action: pecuniary losses, mental anguish, loss of companionship and society, and loss of inheritance.
- Child's services - A parent can recover damages for the loss of the deceased child's services from the time of the child's death until the child would have reached the age of majority (less the cost of the child's care, support, education, and maintenance), and any contributions that might reasonably have been expected from the child after reaching majority.
- Loss of companionship and society - The plaintiff can recover damages for loss of companionship and society in a wrongful death action. Companionship and society are defined as the positive benefits flowing from the love, comfort, companionship, and society the plaintiff would, in reasonable probability, have experienced if the decedent had lived.
What Do I Do Now?
We know that no amount of money can take the place of your lost loved one. And we understand that you probably have many questions regarding what steps to take to obtain the justice you feel is necessary from their wrongful death of your child. Our experienced Texas attorneys are available to speak you with 24 hours a day. Give us a call at (855) 326-0000 regarding your claim or regarding what damages may be available to you to recover.